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Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2008, 08:21:41 PM »
Eco,

Personally I dont see a problem with a SG conversion. I'm a toolmaker, what your talking about doesn't seem all that difficult.

How fast your going to produce these parts is a question though.

 Start with a good quality machine (a SG for sure though) , grind wet, and good quailty close pole chuck the rest is trial and error with wheel dressing routines and such. Customized fixtures would be needed to support you part but thats commonplace.The motion would be much like a mill, just my 2 cents. Good Luck.
Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2008, 10:25:33 PM »
Personally I dont see a problem with a SG conversion. I'm a toolmaker, what your talking about doesn't seem all that difficult. =
I'm a designer and know next to nothing about machinery. It's sounding like we need to hire someone to convert a nice SG to CNC plus wet, chuck, dresser, fixtures - AND - the computer, software and all configured for us to use. I'd love some suggestions of who we could talk to for doing this.
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How fast your going to produce these parts is a question though.
Which I have no answer for. I don't have a clue how long it takes to grind a profile on a short piece of spring steel. 15 minutes? An hour? 3 hours? If it takes as long as 3 hours per blank then we can run two a day, 10 a work week, and we need 88 blanks for a years supply so that's.. about 2 1/2 months. That's okay by us.
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Start with a good quality machine....
The start for us is for someone to tell us what are good quality machines that would be suitable for CNC conversion and some suggestions of where to look for someone to do the conversion work. I'm all ears!

-- Rich --
Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2008, 05:11:44 AM »
It would be in the realms of possibility to make your own press tool by CNC SG forget the reeds.
I'm not sure what you mean by that. What's a press tool? Can it squish spring steel into these profiles: http://home.comcast.net/~r-morse/BBox/images/reeds-e-a.gif

-- Rich --

Yes that's what a press tool does but in your case it would be a form tool.

You could go to a press tool shop and get some of your stock material shaped it doesn't have to be the shape you want any shape to get a feel of what could be achieved with a form tool this would be far cheaper than investing in a cnc grinder that you don't know is going to work

As to grinders my own experience is mainly with the "Jones & Shipman" range i do have a model 540 with optical dresser made by "Precision Grinding" "Optidress"

If you do an ebay search for "Jones & Shipman 540" you will see lots of them

My Own machine is used dry with vacuum dust extraction. Production machines are normally WET

Now comes the awkward bit my own machine tables are operated hydraulically and am sure this is the norm this will not be easy to convert

Phil_H
The Good Thing About Mach3, Is It's very Configurable

The Bad Thing About Mach3, Is It's Too Configurable
Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2008, 12:55:42 PM »
In general most CAD programs will genrate a DXF for manipulation.
Yes, and my program does that. But one of the problems (and my original question on this topic) is "can I use Mach3 for surface grinding?" AND - I need some program to convert my CAD to g-code. Any suggestions?
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Unless someone can directly relate from experience the pitfalls in making your specific item you shouldn't expect a concrete answer or viable solution to a production problem.
Yes I know people who make these reeds and they are being very helpful. Between them and knowing the historic ways of making these reeds it seems clear that I need to have a small high quality surface grinder which has been heavily customized to make reeds. I have lots of answers but for the specifics of which machine and who to customize it. My reed-making friends can't help me there because 2 of them use machinery which was made for making reeds over a century ago, one is rich and hired a company to make the machine and one is a machinist who spent an ungodly amount of time and money to alter his own machine to work.

Back to square one. Does anyone here know if I can use Mach3 for surface grinding? Any suggestions on CAD to g-code software? Any suggestions for a small high-quality CNC surface grinder - OR - someone to convert a SG to CNC?

-- Rich --

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Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2008, 01:50:16 PM »
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Back to square one. Does anyone here know if I can use Mach3 for surface grinding?
Any suggestions on CAD to g-code software?
Any suggestions for a small high-quality CNC surface grinder - OR - someone to convert a SG to CNC?

1).  Yes Mach3 Can
2).  CAM program, How much you wanna spend? I use OneCNC XR2 Mill , but there are others Master CAM, Gibbs, Delcam, etc. you can set your cut depths in these programs, and they will all take a 3D model and machine it.
3). I can convert one for you, BUT, In your case with all the concerns involved, I would build a custom job. I would get some C-0 screws/ballnuts, all machine services ground professionally (possibly Scraped by a pro). ABEC 7's on your spindle, plus have the Spindle assembly Ground insitu to keep runout to a minumum. Again the question would be, How much you want to spend? To convert would be cheaper, but, you will be adapting the machine to do your specific job, (can be done, but you might have to make comprimizes).
Resoulution: You can go with things like AC servos with 10,000 count encoders and set up your motor profiles for some fine resoulution.
I suspect you would have to make some type of extra accomodations for Temperature control. The Tolorances your talking about even temperature can effect.  Your material, I would stress relieve it prior to machining it (IF you can do that with them).

scott
Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/
Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2008, 02:37:20 PM »
2).  CAM program, How much you wanna spend? I use OneCNC XR2 Mill , but there are others Master CAM, Gibbs, Delcam, etc. you can set your cut depths in these programs, and they will all take a 3D model and machine it.
I just called all those software places and every one of them have no info on their sites about surface grinding and when I called them they said that their software won't work on CNC surface grinders. I don't understand what's going on?
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I can convert one for you, BUT, In your case with all the concerns involved, I would build a custom job. How much you want to spend?
I hope to spend under $10,000. Is that at all realistic?

-- Rich --

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Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2008, 02:40:22 PM »
No, your CAD/CAM alone will cost you that much.......
Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/
Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2008, 03:49:10 PM »
Wow, I had no idea. I've been using Sheetcam which seems like great software and it cost only $150. So a 3D program costs 70 times as much? Now I'm really lost.

-- Rich --
Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2008, 03:50:16 PM »
I don't think you need CAD/CAM at all for the surface grinding. I use canned cycles in Mach3 for surface grinding and wrote them longhand. If you can figure out how to build/modify a machine you'll just be doing the same thing over and over. Not like a job shop that needs fast flexible CAM post processing.
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." - Joseph Goebels
Re: Surface grinding?
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2008, 03:53:27 PM »
Well, once if find someone ELSE to build/modify a machine for me... then yes, all the parts I'll be making are incredibly similar. Maybe I can hire someone to code the first one and I can use that for a template for the rest of them.